I Was There

What is wisdom?

What is it’s opposite?

One might say "foolishness."

Surely, everyone wants to be wise, or at the very least, not to be thought of as a fool.

So, then, where is wisdom found? How can it be gained?

As I walked along the red sand beach, I was both surprised and pleased at the color of the tiny grains under my feet. I had not been to that particular spot on the Atlantic coast before; I didn’t know about the red sand. It was another gift from God that I was unaware of—until that day.

The ocean testifies to me of the awesome power of God. It’s vastness stretches out before me in a fantastic display of constantly moving grandeur. It is truly one of my most favorite places to be. God’s great wisdom is proclaimed with the crashing of each individual wave; it is proclaimed once more as the water recedes back to its ordained place.

God’s wisdom existed before creation. It is still in place today. God has not changed.

Should we ask God for wisdom? For discernment?

In Him, we have an eternal resource of guidance, protecting us and lighting our way.

 

 

 

 

Freedom

II Corintians 3:12-18

 

Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

 

His Star

Do you ever wonder if God is truly with you all the time? I’d like to share a little story with you….

Last week, I had to get up at an unusual hour–unusual for me, that is.  4:50 a.m.  I was to be the guest speaker at a morning event at a city about an hour’s drive away.  The hour’s drive was only possible, however, if one were to take extremely rural roads, going through tiny communities with an overabundance of trees.  Winding roads were the order of the morning. I had been concerned that I would take a wrong turn and be late for my engagement. I had jotted down a few instructions I had gotten online the night before. Still, I was somewhat apprehensive about the trip.

It was very dark when I walked beyond my front porch at 5:35. Since I am not in the habit of viewing the stars at that particular time, I looked up. It was a clear night, and the starts made tiny pinpricks on the smooth black sky.

As I pulled out of my driveway, I noticed it almost immediately, before I began to travel down the road. Straight ahead, right above the pavement, was a brilliantly bright light. Airplane? Helicopter? Planet? I wasn’t sure. As I drove, I watched to see if it changed it’s course. Within moments, I knew it wasn’t man made. It was probably Venus–a planet in it’s own orbit–a bright star to those on Earth. The thought of the star of Bethlehem came to my mind.

 

As I was traveling, I kept looking for the star. At one point, as I was driving in a wooded area, I noticed that the star was low enough in the horizon to my left, that it seemed to be right with me, easily visible if I turned my head. It was almost like a flashlight following the movement of my car.

Somehow, the thought came to me: what if, when I arrived, the star was right above my destination like the star of Bethlehem 2,000 years ago?

No wrong turns were to be made that morning. I had prayed about my journey. God led me safely to the parking lot. I had arrived with time to spare. As I looked into the dawning sky, the star shone like a beacon above the building. I quickly and joyfully photographed the scene.

I was certainly in need that day; in need of comforting, in need of confidence to stand before an audience, and the assurance that God was with me.  I heard no words from God that morning as I began my excursion into the dark. instead, He gave me a gift. It was the gift of His light in the sky.  As I remembered Bethlehem, He chose to give me a star to look at. A star in the east; a star that He knew would be hung in its place in the deep, orange velvet sky above the building. I really do believe that He was encouraging me with the presence of His beautiful creation. Seeing the light, viewing it as I drove and having it be above the structure I would soon be in was an affirmation of love to me.

It was as if God was to say, "I have sent you this star. Do you like it? Do you think it is beautiful? As you travel, you will notice it, and when you arrive, it will be above the place that you are seeking to find."

Do you ever wonder if God is  truly with you all the time?

Valley

  The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

  He makes me lie down in green pastures,
       He leads me beside quiet waters,

  He restores my soul.
       He guides me in paths of righteousness
       for His name’s sake.

  Even though I walk
       through the valley of the shadow of death, 
       I will fear no evil,
       for You are with me;
       Your rod and Your staff,
       they comfort me.

  You prepare a table before me
       in the presence of my enemies.
       You anoint my head with oil;
       my cup overflows.

  Surely goodness and love will follow me
       all the days of my life,
       and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
       forever.

Psalm 23

 

 

Springtime

Ask the LORD for rain in the springtime;
       it is the LORD who makes the storm clouds.
       He gives showers of rain to men,
       and plants of the field to everyone.

Zechariah 10:1

 

Think of something that you might need to ask the Lord for. Now that you have that in your mind, think about the circumstance that might be present concerning that request. Is it God that has made the source for what your have asked? Has he ever given anyone what you might be asking for? Is He able to give even more than you ask? Let me explain.

We could ask the Lord for "rain in the springtime." 

(Funds to send your son or daughter to camp? Healing of a physical illness?)

Is God the source of all monetary abundance? Do we ever have money that He has not allowed us to have?

Is God the Creator of our bodies?

We have examples in the Bible and in our day to day lives of God blessing people financially for specific things. We also see His healing power recorded from the past. People alive today have testimonies of His healing.

Whatever you may have thought of asking, whether it be a financial need or healing or a thousand other things, God is willing to hear your prayer.

Why not talk to Him about your concern?

 

 

 

Request

We were passing by, only for a moment or two.

In the area where we live, it is quite common to see large "pan" type structures on top of power poles. There are placed there intentionally, so that ospreys will have a nice place to build their nests.

As we passed a power pole, I noticed the familiar pan at the top. I stated out loud how I wished a bird would come. Almost immediately, as if on cue, a bird came flying!

God granted me the desire of my heart at that moment. He cares about what we care about.

 

 

 

Compassionate

Compassion. It’s a good thing.

It was early this morning not long after I had arrived at work. Someone had noticed a baby blue jay, sitting on on the sidewalk in front of a building. He would sit for a while, walk a little and fly a little. At one point, he decided to fly–straight into a metal pole supporting a walkway. Seemingly uninjured, he chose to sit in the grass. Everyone who noticed him was very concerned for his safety.

Time passed. Later in the morning, one of my coworkers came into my room asking for a towel. He had seen the bird and wanted to wrap it in a towel and take it to an area with a small tree. He carefully carried the frightened creature to a new destination.

More time passed.  A little later in the morning, I stepped outside to find the baby blue jay being held by another coworker. She was trying to find exactly where the young bird’s home was, noticing that no parent birds seemed to be nearby. People were standing around, contemplating what to do next for our little friend.

It was significant to me to see the care and concern—the compassion–-that so many were displaying for this helpless life. It seems that almost everyone felt the urgency to rescue this tiny life in need. I heard no complaints about taking time out of their busy schedules; each person was genuinely concerned and willing to contribute to the cause.

I think we’re a lot like that baby bird. Sometimes we wander too far from the safety of the nest. One poor decision and suddenly, we don’t know how to get back to where we belong. We sit still and afraid to move on our own for awhile. We may try to fly to safety, but along the way, if we’re not careful, we hit a post head on. Chirping softly, in a voice that most others never notice, we sit confused and stunned, off in a corner, displaced and alone.

It is significant to realize the care and concern—the compassion–-of our Heavenly Father. He gently wraps us spiritually in His arms and carries us back to the place we belong. He knows the urgency of our failures; He is ready to rescue us in our time of need. He doesn’t complain about the time involved. He is genuinely concerned and willing to answer us when we call. Even the tiniest of chirps is heard by His ever-attentive ears.

Compassion. It’s a VERY good thing….

 

 

 

 

How Long Will Your Journey Take?

If God were to give you a special gift, wouldn’t you think it would be the very best? Wouldn’t it be just exactly the color you wanted, just the kind you’d always hoped for, made from the finest materials? Because He knows you better than you know yourself, He wouldn’t even have to ask you what you wanted.

Many times, God loves us through other people. He places us on someone’s heart and through their obedience to His leading, they show that love in a very special way.

Because of such love as this, my husband and I, along with our son, enjoyed a rare priviledge. I had never ridden on a train before, but I had wanted to for several years. A dear friend purchased tickets for us to take a trip on a local dinner train. As we entered the railway station, the attendant gave us our boarding passes.

Now, if I could have known that there was the possibility of sitting with just a few people in a glass domed upper section of the dining car, instead of on the main level, I might’ve asked to be there. If I could have known that there were only two tables at the back edge where passengers could look completely down the track at the train cars AND around both sides of the train…..well, I might have asked for that, too. Seeing that I love to photograph the events of my life, that would have been perfect. Of course, I wasn’t even aware of these possibilities.

God, however, WAS aware.

We pick up our story where the attendant was handing us our boarding passes. He informed us of our placement. We were to be on the domed section—D 1.

As we climbed the stairs up to the glassed in area, a server was standing at the very back by a table, waiting on us.

D1? That’s us! As I took my seat in just about the best place on the entire train, God was watching. I can’t help thinking that He was happy that I was happy. He knew just the spot that I would enjoy the most. It was His to give, working it all out in His sovereign way. Of course, our friend had purchased the tickets. She did so out of kindness and love—love that came from God.

It was a peacful, lovely journey through farmlands, water canals and city streets.

In the Bible, in the book of Nehemiah, we are told of Nehemiah’s desire to leave his post as cup bearer to the king and return to his homeland to rebuild the city walls. God heard his prayers concerning the matter. When Nehemiah expressed his wish to make the journey home, the king’s heart had been prepared by God to grant his request. He simply asked, "How long will your journey take and when will you get back?" God gave Nehemiah just exactly what he needed and desired.

As we live our lives in this constant journey of growing faith, only God knows how long it will take or when we will get back home to Heaven. Until that time, He will surely keep on loving us through other people, one smile, one hug—- one "train ticket" at a time.

 

 

 

Which of You Fathers…?

 

Last night, I decided to read the Bible before I went to bed. The house was quiet. I opened the Bible randomly. I had turned to Luke, chapter 11. I read veses 9 through 13:

So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

 "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

I realized that I had read this very same scripture earlier in the week and it had happedned the same way. I had opened up my Bible to these verses, even then.

This morning, as I was sitting in a church service, the pastor spoke about Luke 11:9-13 as part of his sermon.. There they were again! God has placed this message before me three times. What would He have me learn from this passage? I truly want to know.

I need to seek, knock and ask….

…and then listen.

 

 

There is No Other

It was such a breezy evening. The boardwalk was dotted with people here and there. A young man with a fishing pole headed for the water. The rhythm from a lakeside pavillion revealed two senior citizens playing djembe-like drums. The beating sounds gently flowed through the air, mixing with the visual scene to create a feeling of peaceful ambience. The setting sun created a backdrop above the water as the colors in the sky silently changed from one hue to the next. As the sun was falling deeply into the horizon, I photographed it’s descent.

God continually blesses everyone–whether they acknowledge Him or not—with beauty to behold. The peacefulness of a calm and gentle windswept evening by the water was a gift; one that was meant for me to enjoy.

 

 

 

Then God Said

 

 

  And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so.  God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas." And God saw that it was good.

  Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so.  The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.  And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

Genesis 1:9-13

 

Broaden the Path

"As for God, his way is perfect;
       the word of the LORD is flawless.
       He is a shield
       for all who take refuge in him.

  For who is God besides the LORD?
       And who is the Rock except our God?

  It is God who arms me with strength
       and makes my way perfect.

  He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
       he enables me to stand on the heights.

  He trains my hands for battle;
       my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

  You give me your shield of victory;
       you stoop down to make me great.

  You broaden the path beneath me,
       so that my ankles do not turn.

II Samuel 22:31-37

 

 

 

The Plans

 

What do you think God wants to do in your life? What do you think He wants you to do in your life?

The answers to those questions more than likely change as time goes on. Why? Because the work that God is doing is a process. Each day builds on the faith and maturity gained from the previous one. If we are in Christ, we are not who we used to be and tomorrow we will be different still.

While we are in this process, how do we know if we are in the right place? Working at the right job? Going to the right school? Marrying the right person? Choosing the right church? Does God even care about these choices? I think He does.

Praying about God’s will for your life is a good place to start. Seeking confirmation from the Bible, from friends and from circumstances would certainly be in order, as well.

Many of us have found ourselves in a place that "looked" good, but somehow, it just didn’t feel right. Something was just not fitting in. Even if the job, the school, the fiance or the church seemed to be exactly the right choice, an element was missing. It may have been the lack of validation from God. If so, you may have reluctantly walked away, asking Him, "So, what do I do now?"

Waiting on God’s timing may not be the choice we most readily make. It is, however, the best choice. Glancing back, we see previous times in our lives through lenses of experience. Some choices may have seemed inviting, yet we can clearly see that we didn’t belong there.

Look at the photo below. The spring blossoms from ground cover plants are beautiful and lush. The fish are colorful and vibrant. But what’s wrong with this picture? Ground cover doesn’t grow where fish need to be and fish cannot live where ground cover grows. If either were to change places to compensate for the other, they would eventually perish.

What do you think God wants you to do in your life? Are you currently a fish out of water or a plant submerged?

I want to know where God wants me to be, doing what He wants me to do.

  What about you?

 

 

In the Morning

When is it time to pray?

I often pray while driving to work each day. It is quiet and I am alone. I pray when I am thankful, I pray when I am frightened; I pray when I am confused, I pray when I am sad. I pray when I am happy. So, when is it time to pray?

Anytime.

It may seem that God is not answering our prayers, or even hearing them, for that matter. Martin Luther had this to say about five hundred years ago:

“All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired, although not in the hour or in the measure, or the very thing which they ask. Yet they will obtain something greater and more glorious than they had dared to ask.”

God is listening. He cares about the very things that concern us. I would have to agree with Martin Luther.

So, when is it time to pray? How about now?

 

 

 

 

 

Open Your Eyes

 

Brandon Heath sings a powerful song about reaching out to others as Jesus would have us to do. Here are some of the lyrics:

Give me Your eyes for just one second

Give me Your eyes so I can see

Everything that I keep missing

Give me Your love for humanity

Give me Your arms for the brokenhearted

The ones that are far beyond my reach

Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten

Give me Your eyes so I can see

—–Brandon Heath, Jason David Ingram

 

I know that I see people every day that are broken hearted. They are living each moment without the knowledge of what God is offering them through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, on the cross.

Who can I reach out to with the love of God?

 

 

Come and See

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

 The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you."

 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."

Matthew 28:1-10

 

 

The Son of God

From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, "He’s calling Elijah."

 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, "Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him."

 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God!"

Matthew 27:45-54

 

 

 

Going to Pilate

 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

Luke 23:50-54

 

 

 

In Paradise

What will it be like to be transported to Heaven? To be here on Earth one moment, and be with the Lord in another realm the next?

As Jesus was suffering on the cross, one of the criminals crucified along side Him said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into Your kingdom."  Jesus’ reply to him was, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

The thief had lived his entire life without the saving knowledge of faith in Jesus. Just before his departure into eternity, his destiny was changed from death to life. He was to be gloriously transported into the presence of God. What will that journey be like for us?

In the mid to late 1800’s, there lived a man whose heart was committed to God. He was an evangelist named Dwight L. Moody. The words that he said to those around him as he was dying have been a great, great comfort to me—-

"Is this dying? Why this is bliss."
"There is no valley."
"I have been within the gates."
"Earth is receding; Heaven is opening; God is calling; I must go."

The dictionary defines bliss as, "supreme happiness; utter joy or contentment."  Reverend Moody had begun to travel the road home. Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for his sin. Because of His sacrifice, Dwight had accepted His gift of salvation and was now taking the final journey home to be with His Savior and Lord.

"Earth is receding…"

"Heaven is opening…"

"God is calling…"

"I must go…"

 

What will that moment be like for you?

 

 

 

 

Blessed is He

 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away."

 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
 "Say to the Daughter of Zion,
      ‘See, your king comes to you,
   gentle and riding on a donkey,
      on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ "

 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
   "Hosanna to the Son of David!"
   "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
   "Hosanna in the highest!"

 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?"

 The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."

Matthew 21:1-11

 

 

 

 

The Life

I remember….She was such a sweet, older lady. Our son did yard work for her and her husband. They treated him so lovingly. A day’s work might bring with it a home cooked lunch and good conversation around the their table.

It was her birthday, and he and I went to a store and bought flowers for her. We took it to her home. I’m sure it made her happy.

This morning, I selected some flowers from the very same store. These flowers were to go on our son’s grave.

Our son was only nineteen years old when he died, yet he had taken the opportunity to make many people happy during those short years. Today is his birthday. He would have been twenty-three.

What have I done in my life to make others happy? I do not regret the cards that I have sent, the gifts given or the time spent listening to a friend’s voice. My regrets lie in the hugs I never gave, the phone calls I didn’t make and the love I failed to convey to those God placed in my path.

I have a lot to learn from the memories of our son. Voted the "friendliest boy" of his graduating class in high school, he reached out to those around him in a wonderfully unique way.

These words are on his grave marker:

"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live…"  They are from John 11:25.

Because of our son’s faith in Jesus, I believe he is with God. I will one day see him again. Until that time, how would God have me live my life?

 

 

 

 

 

Seek

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:31-34

 

 

 

The Dew

I’ve been praying about something. That’s not unusual. Many people pray. For me, though, this is special. I have been praying about a matter for about 15 months now.

It has come to my mind that it is possible that the answer to my prayers may come through some difficult soul searching. It may come through ways that I cannot foresee. God is in control and I am not.

In thinking about this today, I realized that what I want is to have my concerns resolved instantly; I want things to change from the way they are to the way they are supposed to be all at once. But what if God chooses to work through a process?  If He does, then I must understand that His way is best.

I could not give a thorough explanation of why or how a tiny drop of dew forms in a perfect orb, reflecting its surroundings as it sits atop a slanting blade of grass. God created it. He could explain.

With each breath I take, my body is renewed with oxygen and my life continues. Can I explain my continued existance—really explain it? No. God created me. He could explain.

Since I know so very little and God knows all things, I must trust Him with my prayers.

Will He answer?

Will He grant my requests?

Will He choose to act in a completely different way that what I had asked?

The dew under my feet as I walk through the grass testifies of His great knowledge and my lack of it.

My petitions are in His hands.

 

 

 

Transformed

Do not conform

(act in accord with the prevailing standards, attitudes, practices)

any longer to the pattern

(a combination of qualities, acts, tendencies)

of this world,

(any sphere, realm, or domain)

but be transformed

(changed in condition, nature, or character)

by the renewing

(restoring or replenishing)

of your mind.

(totality of conscious and unconscious mental processes and activities)

Romans 12:2a

 

Confidence

Each morning at work, my duties include being outdoors. Often, birds will fly in to nest in the recesses of covered walkways or endulge in the seed carefully placed in feeders between buildings.

They are interesting to watch. Sometimes, birds will come together—-eat together, stand together, fly together. Other times, a solitary bird will appear, standing guard on the edge of the roof, conforming to an agenda of which only he is aware. Alone, yet confident, he may swoop down to this place or that, scoping out the territory all the while.

I am so very thankful for the friends that God has allowed me to have. Through the years, I have eaten in the company of my friends, we have stood together through good times and difficult times alike. When exciting adventures were the order of the day, we have flown together through the happiest of moments.

There are periods, however, that each of us has been called to stand in alone, except for the presence of our Heavenly Father. There are decisions to be made alone. There are seasons of solitude surely meant for reflection and consideration. With the confidence that comes from God, we are able to remain upright, even in the temporary absence of those that love us.

The Lord will be our confidence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Therefore Encourage

Everyone is different. Everyone has their own specific place that they happen to be occupying in life, and a story behind how they got to that point. There is no conceiveable way to know the individual stories of all the people we encounter. Because of our lack of information, it might be best to encourage and uplift those that we meet on our spiritual journey.

Sometimes, reaching out to another can be somewhat unsettling. "What if I offend them by trying to be a friend right now?"  Doubt creeps in and, if we’re not careful, it will steal our good intentions away and deposit them in oblivion.

It is true that there are those of us who are more open to encouraging words and actions. Others are frightened and closed so that even words of affirmation are shut out. Given time and prayer, closed hearts can begin to open and acceptance begins to take place.

Whatever stage you might be in personally, is there someone in your scope of influence that needs an encouraging word today?

Trust God to deliver your words to their heart, whether it is completely closed, partially open or in full bloom.

Go ahead.   Be the encourager. Build someone up—-today.

 

 

 

Hope

If you don’t have it, chances are you are probably feeling pretty empty.

What’s that?  Hope.

Here’s a quote from author Michael Dye: "When you project your current situation into the future, either hope or hopelessness is what looks back at you."

We can project our image into a mirror; that’s easy. We can view our faces in the still waters of a lake. We then see what we are like now—but tomorrow? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. We don’t know how we will look in the future.

How does someone project their situation into the future?  Imagine the likely outcome of what you are experiencing now in, say, two years. Then five years. Then ten and fifteen.  What does it look like then?

Hope, or lack of it, will be the lens you see your future through. In Jesus, we have a hope for the future. We may be temporarily drawn away from this realization because of trials and difficulties, yet the truth remains.

When you look into the future, what looks back at you?